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Rathlin Island farmer fined for injury to worker

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At Coleraine Magistrates Court today, Rathlin Island farmer, Richard Green, was fined £1,000 plus costs of £300 for health and safety breaches that resulted in multiple injuries to his employee, Mr Russell John Beresford.

Today’s sentencing comes after a Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) investigation into how on 4 December 2014 Mr Beresford fell approximately four metres from a farm shed roof while replacing tin sheeting. As a result, Mr Beresford suffered fractured ribs and a fracture to his right elbow which required surgery.

Commenting on the health and safety failures that led to this workplace accident, Camilla Mackey, an inspector with HSENI’s Agri-Food Group said:

“This incident, which resulted in Mr. Beresford sustaining multiple injuries, was entirely preventable. The dangers associated with working at height are well known across all industries, particularly farming, where there have been 14 deaths caused by falls in the past five years.

“The law requires employers to ensure the risk to employees when working at height is adequately reduced so far as is practical. This means that farmers must provide the correct equipment for gaining access to work safely at height. They must also ensure that workers are given proper information, instructions and training to carry out their tasks, and are provided with a safe way of working.”

Falls from height are one of the four main causes of accidents resulting in serious injuries and death on farms. The dangers associated with working at height have been well publicised through the Farm Safety Partnership’s ongoing multi-media campaign – Stop and Think SAFE.

For more information about working at height, and other farming health and safety issues, please visit the Farm Safe website at the following link: http://farmsafe.hseni.gov.uk/falls.htm

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